Not A Good Day

What started out to be a good day made a 180 degree turn around 1PM today. I was coming out of Doit Center when I received a call. It was a person from Volcan that had gone to the Regional Hospital to visit one of the two current U.S. citizens, I have been checking in on.

He informed me that the one who had had the knee operation had died. He asked if I could come to the hospital. I said I would be right over.

I was shocked. I had visited with him on Monday and he was doing well. The operations were going well. He had three of the five needed knee operations and had two to go. One being a skin graft and I forget what the other was for.

We had visited for close to an hour Monday and, all things considered, he looked the best I had seen him. He apparently suffered a heart attack, most likely because of the stress of being so far from where he lived and difficulties in communicating with hospital staff. He suffered from diabetes and hypertension and this must have been the last straw.

The thing that disturbed me as much as anything today was that he died at 12:30 PM according to the doctor I spoke with. At 3:30 PM, after talking to the doctor, he was still in his hospital bed, among the other patients, and he didn’t even have his face covered with the sheet.

I told this to the social workers in the hospital and they didn’t believe it. I told them to go down and look and that I felt this was deplorable. This definitely upset me.

While I was waiting to talk to the doctor, I went upstairs and saw the other U.S. patient. His told me his son was here and working on taking care of the paperwork so,that he could be transported to the U.S.

His story is also troubling. As I was leaving the hospital I happened to meet his son. Gringos tend to be easily recognized. He is having another problem. The doctor that had cleared his father to travel to the US was now changing his mind and not sure he was going to release him.

One of the conditions that the son had on coming done was that his father could travel by commercial airline. The doctor had previously said it was fine and to come down.

The son is meeting with the doctor tomorrow along with a translator and he asked if I could attend the meeting. I will be there.

Those three hours I spent today in the Regional hospital completely drained me. My hope is that tomorrow is better.

14 thoughts on “Not A Good Day

  1. Dear Don,
    Hope tomorrow is a much better day for you, our prayers are with you and the son and his dad. May some mutually acceptable arrangements be made.

    Take care,
    Clyde and Linda

  2. From what I read, my heart is heavy for the family and I just can’t understand why a patient that passed away was still in the bed without being removed or covered. It had to be hard for the other patients to see this. More stress for more patients. The second instance, the son should be able to get his father on a flight home and get the care he needs in the US.

  3. hope things have turned around for the good. in this morning’s paper I read that “Panama releases pilots” did that get much publicity down there? it took 18 months to settle the issue and most of that time spent imprisoned without charges

  4. Don you have taken on some heavy emotional lifting in your golden years and I really admire you this. I have traveled often to Central America solo and always find myself in a quandry about making the big “move”. Sites like your’s and your honest output has kept me based in reality knowing that moving to a foreign country alone in your 60’s without any close relatives or friends is not for the faint of heart.

  5. The patient that died many of these readers would have met and known, Brad Boyer of Casa de las Palmas B&B in Santiago. The circumstances surrounding this will undergo further investigation of ALL involved as I have done my own investigation and found a lot of fault in various places. Brad had requested intervention by the embassy to evacuate him to a US based hospital or transfer to another closer to Santiago but he also had the same problem encountered by the father and son in that same hospital where he was told that any voluntary transfer would result in him not being allowed to enter any other hospital in Panama. The embassy from the information and photographic evidence presented to them did not deem it an emergency situation and yet the same photographic evidence shown to independent Triage medical professionals considered it in a different light. The cause of Brad’s death has not been officially declared as yet as there was an autopsy ordered and those results have yet to be disclosed. When those results are released there could be a few heads rolling around Panama.mark my words.
    As a word of warning, don’t trust anyone with the care or life of your loved ones or friends in Panama an don’t rely on the embassy to be of much help either or any representative, get them out of here and back home.
    I offer no apologies for my remarks to anyone that may be offended my my statements here but I feel very strongly as does the many friends and family of Brad that he was abandoned and left to suffer and die a totally unnecessary death for and easily rectified injury.
    Casa de las Palams

  6. Steve, I am sorry for your loss. However, the Embassy is not responsible for anyone’s personal decisions and has no ability or authority to do the things you have suggested. It is the family’s responsibility to make those decisions and to provide for the finances to execute them.

    This statement I make is my statement and should not be considered to reflect the opinion of the Embassy.

  7. First would like to say that we all will and do miss Brad dearly. Absolutlutely baffles the mind, that someone could be left to die under the condition’s that Brad did…. How about plain ole human compassion, of which was not shown, We can all argue politics, but bottom line is, if the hopspital was not prepared to handle Brad’s needs…. why were Brad and Steve’s requests not heard, and he transferred to a hospital that had the ability to handle Brad’s medical needs, as well as closer to Steve, and friends that they have there, and by the way…. His Family and Friends were willing to make finacial arrangements to fly him back to the states, however He and Steve were DENIED that request.

    This is one part of the embassy’s responisbility to it’s citizens

    The embassy is responsible for representing the home country abroad and handling major diplomatic issues, such as preserving the rights of citizens abroad.

  8. Kim. As I said to Steve, I am sorry for your loss. I can’t speak for the Embassy, but I can speak for the times I spoke to Bradly. At no time did he ever ask for assistance in returning to the US. To the best of my knowledge, Bradly made all of his decisions and elected to remain in the Regional Hospital for the operation he undertook.

    After he had his accident, this was the only hospital in Panama that was capable of doing the orthopedic procedures that were required and would accept him without insurance. I visited Bradly on multiple occasions and asked if he wanted me to contact family and friends in the US. Each time, he said no.

    When I asked him about returning to Florida for the operation, he said he couldn’t afford to pay the bill for the medicine in Florida. In cases such as this, it would have been wise for his family or friends to have been here, on site, helping him to make decisions.

    It is easy to Monday morning quarterback, but unless you were here and a part of the conversations, then you should not make judgements. Aa I said, I have no knowledge of conversations between family, friends with the Embassy. My only knowledge is my direct contact with Bradly, and in each of those instances, he rejected the idea of returning to the US.

  9. You claim you had conversations with Brad. He was SADATED really how do you expect a real conversation your words are very hollow and there are plenty of people that support Brad and Steve and we will find out the Truth.

  10. Don,
    I made no judgments, I simply asked legitimate question’s and stated truth’s.
    Your “monday morning quarterback” comment…. completely unwarranted not to mention in extreme bad taste given that we are speaking of a human life lost.

  11. Paige, I don’t claim to have had conversations with Bradly, I did have multiple conversations with him. In none of those conversations was he ever heavily “SADATED”. It is a shame that none of the people that supported Bradley were able to visit him in his multi-week stay in the hospital.

    To the best of my knowledge, the only two people that saw Bradly was Steve and I. Another friend was going to visit him the day he died and he was the one that called me to come to the hospital. I don’t know if he had been able to visit Bradly before or not, but Bradly only told me about his visits with Steve.

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